Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, July 22, 2011

J Dilla's 10 Greatest Remixes

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge J Dilla
  • J Dilla

Deceased hip-hop producer J Dilla, né Jay Dee, first asserted himself on the rap radar with his group Slum Village. Lauded by luminaries Q-Tip and ?uestlove, the Detroit-based trio of Dilla, T3, and Baatin (also sadly deceased) are held in cult esteem today. Tonight, remaining group member T3 and Dilla's younger brother, Illa J, will head up the Slum Village Oakland night at The New Parish. Dilla's original production catalog can be a prickly subject -- for every disciple who anoints him as an all-time great, there's a sober curmudgeon to point out that he also contributed to making A Tribe Called Quest's final two albums underwhelming affairs -- but it's his remix work that arguably gives a more impressive insight into how he reshaped the songs of others. Before the Slum Vil tribute tonight, here are Dilla's 10 greatest remixes.

Innerzone Orchestra, "People Make the World Go Round (J88 Remix)"

Tackling a Stylistics cover from techno auteur Carl Craig's Innerzone Orchestra project, Dilla switches out the original's twinkly, slightly underwhelming drums and replaces them with his trademark pounding thuds. It works a treat, bedding the track for singer Paul Randolph's humanistic musings.

Lucy Pearl, "Without You (Jay Dee Remix)"

The Lucy Pearl supergroup, consisting of Rafael Saadiq, A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and En Vogue singer Dawn Robinson (who happens to be Tribe member Phife's secret crush), dropped a great but underrated self-titled R&B album in 2000. Dilla's take on the single "Without You" isn't so much a remix as a complete gutting of the track: It's visceral and raw, starting out as little more than a bare beat, but utterly amazing in its economy.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

Phillip Mlynar

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"